Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
One Christmas Eve, after the girls were in bed "with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads" We stole out into the snow to go and watch over the sheep and imagine the shepherds in the fields that first of all Christmases. Our two rams came over to the fenceline for petting and scratches on the head...as we watched our breath beneath a starry sky and sang carol lullabies to the sheep it was little wonder to us why the Incarnate Son of God chose to be born amidst sheep, donkey, cow, and horse and not in some palace, draped in silk. It was as if that monumental night was to confirm once again and once and for all, that the farm is not just home to the animals, but home to the whole world.
Garlic and Rosemary Studded Focaccia
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 C warm water
Combine flour, salt, yeast, and water in a bowl. Blend well. Then knead for about 15 minutes on a lightly floured countertop. Grease a bowl with olive oil and place dough inside it to rise till double (about 2 hours). Cover with plastic wrap.
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces and softened
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Melt the chocolate over low heat while stirring. Warm the cream, add to it the corn syrup, vanilla and pinch of salt. Pour over the chocolate. Stir till smooth. Finish the ganache by adding the pieces of butter one at a time and stirring till melted into the ganache. Grease an 8 x 8 dish and line with two pieces of parchment paper overhanging the 4 sides of the dish. Pour ganache into this and let cool for 1-2 hours. Then chill for 2 hours in the fridge. After this combine the coca powcer and powdered sugar and pull the bars out of the dish using the overhaning parchment. Cut into squares and roll into balls to coat in the cocoa/sugar mixture. Chill before serving.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Pour very hot water with a few splashes of dishsoap in it over the wool and gently press down to saturate the pile. If the wool is sticking to your hands pour some more soap over it.
Rinse a few times in hot water to strengthen the felt. Then rinse in cold.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I love how thanksgiving brings out the domestic artist in all of us, from the most modern of career women to the crankiest of old men...aprons that have hung useless on hooks in foyers, in kitchen cupboards, in closets, are donned with purpose and concentration. We tackle turkeys and gravies, the glorious fruits of the earth, the sweet potatoes, beans, frozen sweet corn, and squash...Nowadays in America this November celebration is a thanksgiving for all the gifts of our present, and for all the glories of our culinary and historical past. The pies, the homemade rolls, the roasting fowl, the cider toasts...the slow savoring of good company and good food, as the scents and full-bellied sighs rise to heaven on wings of gratitude.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
You are cordially invited to an evening's Chat about Little Flower Farm and our upcoming 2012 Season.
Sunday, November 20th at 6:30 pm.
Come sample our chevre and our pastured pork!
We will be giving a presentation about our CSA program and answering any questions about our farming practices, meat and veggie shares, and the upcoming growing season. Bring your whole family!
Please email Maureen for directions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
"You must not fall. When you lose your balance, resist for a long time before turning yourself toward the earth. Then jump. you must not force yourself to stay steady. You must move forward. You must win. The wire trembles. The tendency is to want to calm it by force. In fact, you must move with grace and suppleness to avoid disturbing the song of the cable."
There are lots of (great) discussions going on here:
http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/the-myth-of-the-self-made-yeoman/about our current economic and agricultural situation here in the U.S. and in the world at large...
about an alternative solution to the capitalism, socialism, and communism...
But one of the most satisfying things I've read lately attempting to get at some solution for our current agricultural crisis is here:
Towards the end of the interview, Lynn Miller takes off on a seeming tangent, drawing out a story of a memory he had as a child standing watch over a buried pig, roasting beneath the soil, a right of passage as he braves the "terrors of the night" and heckling miscreants....in the end, he concludes, Supporting boutique agriculture is not the long-term solution. Reading a whole, real, book front to back is. In other words: there is no agriculture without true culture and vise versa
I would add to this, that delight in things for their own sake spurs responsible stewardship of the land. A fire to warm yourself by, and fed with wood from a managed woodlot, a landscape rimmed with windbreaks, patchworked with rotated crops, soil struggled over, with a relentless appreciation for the micro world that is dirt...these things spring from the playful heart that delights in things as they are, dreams of them as they can be, and fights for them as they should be...
Friday, October 28, 2011
What 8 year old wouldn't aspire to the adventure of farming if we did it this way?
We have begun gathering up old horse-drawn field equipment: walking plows, cultivators, a potato plow...unearthing old ruins of past agriculture from back yards and overgrown pastures...our aim is to turn Little Flower Farm into a Draft-Powered Farm...our good faith effort for a smaller ecological footprint, and fossil-fuel-less farming. As I stood there chagrinned at the tree-gobbled harrow it occurred to me that the image I was beholding might have less to do with a chewing of the past...than with a preserving of it. Here this implement was: held fast. I was looking at an image of King Arthur's sword in the stone if ever there was one! A farm that has been labored over, cultivated, sworn at...a farm like that stays a farm, if even dormant...waiting for a new flock to bring back neglected pasturelands, and new blood to wed itself to the increasing of the fertility of the soil. I am amazed at what woody weeds and overgrown pasture becomes beneath the browsing noses of 9 sheep. The hill that sweeps up to the cozy old farmhouse has shed its fuzzy growth of invasive buckthorn and bends and rolls gracefully as the goats meander over it in contented and adventurous grazing. And all this is happening now! Now when all the rims of woods are a riot with color and beauty...now when the photographer grows frenzied and frantic to capture on film what he experiences as he stands on the high hill of the sheep pasture and looks down on the field....impossible to achieve. Next Spring that field will grow green with new grass and clover. A quilt of CSA veggies will be painstakingly and meticulously worked at every April day onward....but for now the plain contours of the land and the final hurrah of all the leaves of all the trees drive far from the heart desire for green things....only reveling in the dying of the year.
Halloween's time honored (and child-worshiped) custom of trick or treating harkens back to an Old English tradition of begging "soul cakes" at neighbors' doors...chanting and promising prayers for the departed of the family in return for the sweets...
"soul, soul, an apple or two,
if you haven't got an apple, a pear will do,
one for Peter, two for Paul
and three for the Man who made us all"
if you haven't got a harrow, a seed will do,